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HANFORD — Smoke from a fire in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta area and smoke from wildfires in the surrounding mountains have the potential to affect air quality throughout the entire San Joaquin Valley, prompting Air District officials to issue a health cautionary statement Valley-wide.

Smoke impacts are likely to continue until the fires are extinguished, and may be more noticeable during the night and early morning hours.

Smoke from wildfires produces particulate matter which can trigger asthma attacks, aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Where conditions warrant, people with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of particulate exposure. People with existing respiratory conditions, young children and elderly people are especially susceptible to the health effects from these pollutants. Anyone being exposed to poor air quality or wildfire smoke should move inside to an air-conditioned or heated environment with their windows closed.

Residents can use the District’s Real-time Air Advisory Network (RAAN) to track air quality at any Valley address by visiting myraan.com. The RAAN monitors are designed to detect the microscopic PM2.5 particles that exist in smoke. Ash pieces, however, are much larger in size and will not be detected. If an area is covered in ash, air quality should be considered “unhealthy” (RAAN Level 4 or higher) even if the monitor reflects a lower reading.

The public can check the District’s wildfire page at www.valleyair.org/wildfires for information about any current wildfires and whether they are impacting the Valley.

For more information, visit www.valleyair.org or call a District office in Fresno (559-230-6000), Modesto (209-557-6400) or Bakersfield (661-392-5500).

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